Category Archives: Love in Marriage

Four years

Today is Jason & I’s four-year anniversary.  If only we looked as young and spritely as we did in this photo.

But the good news is that I think we are happier together than we were the day we got married.  I will take that over no wrinkles and sags.

Some of my favorite moments/observations from the last year include:

  • Laying in bed at night talking about what we think will happen in the next episode of Downton Abbey
  • All the amazing things Jason made: french silk pie, ice cream galore, oreo cheesecake with a chocolate drizzle, grilled pizza, etc.
  • When Jason asked me if I got tired of hearing him call me “Beautiful.”  I was like, UM NO!
  • How most every weekday at the dinner table he asks me “So, what did you do today?” I tell him everything we did from when we woke up until he came home and he’s always sincerely interested.
  • Our overnight getaway in downtown Seattle
  • When Jason popped up in bed with a smile on his face when I told him my water had broken.
  • My orange Crush
  • My husband likes do to dishes and clean the kitchen; he finds it relaxing.  I can handle that.  In fact, I can thank God for that.
  • In turn, Jason doesn’t care if the rest of the house is dirty, so I need to let it go and put it down farther on the priority list.
  • We’re fighting less (and when we fight we fight more fairly), even though this season leaves us more tired and worn out that we’ve ever been.
  • I’m able to finally recognize that some of my habits border on ridiculous and superfluous.
  • When we sat down and Jason told me all about his day on Oahu.
  • Putting the kids down, cooking dinner, and watching the PBS National Parks series (it took us over a year to finish all six discs).
  • After many long discussions, we’ve settled on the fact that we have very different expectations for vacation.  I hope all these talks bode well in our planning of our first big trip since our honeymoon.
  • When, at the dinner table, I was about to shred cheese over his salad and Jason said “I like my cheese shredded long.”  I rolled my eyes because if Jason obsesses about anything, it’s food.
  • The many times he’s told me I’m a good mom when I feel like a crappy mom.
  • How Jason raves about my bread making skills not because I make bread better than he does but because he knows I’m so proud of myself that I can actually make it.
  • Our attempts to garden together again yet another year, though I wish we had been more successful.
  • We have to have date nights out and reconnect over food (and not food we’ve cooked).  It’s not optional.  We learned this when we tried to go without while saving up for Hawaii.

The serious side of Jason

Sadly I don’t have any photos taken of us together this year.  I guess that will be a goal for next year.
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Someone has a crush on me

Someone in our house considers Valentine’s Day to be a superficial holiday.  Someone else in our house loves it, mainly because it’s sentimental and involves lots of candy and maybe even a gift (I guess that sort of confirms that the former person is right . . . oh well . . . the latter person doesn’t care).

If you’ve read this blog before, I’ve said who is who before, but even if you haven’t, you may be able to guess by the following story.

Jason & I agreed this year that we would not buy each other gifts for birthdays or holidays.  Instead, we would take the money and put it towards our Hawaiian vacation next Christmas with the Franci, which we are saving all year for (I’m SO excited!).

So neither of us had any expectations about Valentine’s Day.  But last week I playfully said “I wonder if anyone will send me a Crush in class on Valentine’s Day.”

He didn’t know what I was talking about.  And I said “What?!  It’s one of the best things about Valentine’s Day!  In high school, if someone had a crush on you they could send you an orange Crush and it would be delivered to you in class.  It could be anonymous or not.  But it was exciting either way!”

Then I told him that I had received a Crush once.  I think I got an eyebrow raise on that one.  🙂

Yesterday morning Jason facemailed me to tell me he had been tempted to buy me a gift but instead he was going to take me on a special Hawaiian date.   Let me tell you, that is totally fine with me.  I made myself some pink sugar cookies and those would hold me over for the next 10 months.

But, of course, when he got home Jason had something for me:

This is WAY bigger than the Crushes you got in high school.  They were only your typical 12-oz can.  And Jason said he had to go to three gas stations to find it and paid an overpriced $3 on it.

Yes, someone has a crush on me.  And you, folks, are the class I’m sitting in when I got my special Crush!

Now that I’ve written this and watched the video again, it’s hard to tell who really thinks Valentine’s Day is superficial.  I think I’m wearing away at Jason’s cynicism, one Hallmark holiday at a time.  😉

Did I get Jason anything?  Yes, I did.  I was at IKEA yesterday and spontaneously bought him a $6 scale.  I figure it’s only offensive if a man gives a woman a scale.  Plus, he’s been asking for one. He was pleased with it and proudly told me he weighs less this winter than he did last (while also flexing with his shirt off).

Such is married life.  It’s so much better than dating!

Loving a man who bakes

It’s really not that hard. Especially when he brings you one of his salted caramels to taste test and it tastes like heaven and well . . .

Alright, I confess, it’s a little bit harder than that.  At least it was for me last weekend when Jason made copious amounts of sugary treats for his co-workers.  There were a few times I tried to avoid helping and there was that time I thought “Do the salted caramels really have to be wrapped that perfectly?!”

But they must.  Everything must be perfect.  And it was.  And I still love this man who bakes.

The lineup was Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Bars, Molasses Spice Cookies, Fudge, and Salted Caramels.  The first two came out of the The New Best Recipe (aka Jason’s third best friend next to myself and Jordan). The Fudge was Martha’s and well, we’ve decided to keep the caramels a secret because I think we could make some money off of them, they were so amazing.

There were several moments where I heard from the kitchen “This is awful, it’s totally ruined!” only to hear him later say with much satisfaction, “Actually, this is pretty darn good.”  In the process I learned not to become discouraged that yet another bag of chocolate chips was going to be wasted as he poured them into a pot of steaming cream, butter, and marshmallows.  The fudge would indeed turn out fabulous. My taste buds are verifying it this very moment that I write.

Jason’s mom, Becky, worked tirelessly with him as his sous chef, and Bill put his caramel stirring, cutting and wrapping skills to work (as well as his caramel eating skills).  I helped minimally (as was previously mentioned), but did put the finishing touches on each plate.

20 plates of goodies were packaged up and went off to Jason’s co-workers on Tuesday morning, but thankfully there were some leftover for us to enjoy.  Except Jason couldn’t keep from spreading his baking cheer so a couple of neighbors got some and I’m trying to eat up the rest 🙂

Thank you, Jason, for taking us all to greater baking heights.  I know I’m a better person for it.

The next training challenge (and how some things come full circle)

On Good Friday of 2006 Jason and I were sitting across from each other at The Matador, eating tacos.  We were dating at that point, about two or three months in.

Somehow we got talking about biking.  I said something to the effect of “You know, I think I want to try that someday.”  And, with complete confidence, Jason said “Well, we’re just going to have to get you a bike then.”

That statement made the future of our relationship seem so final.  Somewhere, at some point a ways into the future, we were going to buy me a bike.  Not me buying a bike with his help, but we.  And what it felt even more like was that he was going to buy me a bike.  That’s the sort of thing that goes on in married life.

You see where this is going.  Up until this point in time I knew Jason wanted to marry me, but I wasn’t so sure I wanted to marry him. In this moment I found myself very naturally answering his declaration with “Yes, yes we will.”  I felt very comforted and taken care of.  And in a strange way, it felt like I was saying “Yes, I think I will marry you.”

Though the road to the wedding aisle was not without a few bumps along the way, as you know we ended up getting married.  And I look back on that bike conversation as a major turning point for me.  It was a simple, unexpected confirmation from God.

Fast forward to two weeks ago (almost three years to the day) . . .

I was changing a diaper and somehow in the midst of wiping Ian’s behind I decided to train for the Cd’A Triathlon.  It started with a random thought and then a “No, I can’t possibly do that.”  And then I challenged that thought (very unlike me) by thinking about the whys of why I can’t do it, and they all sort of dissolved away into a sense of peace and determination.

In fact, it was it was a lot like that evening at The Matador: “Yes, yes I think I will do a triathlon!”

Even now I’m still surprised I’m doing this because I’ve sat on my duff all winter, waiting for the slightest hint of motivation to exercise and none has come.  And now all the sudden I’m doing this and I’m not scared but excited about it!

I will caveat this by saying that I am going to do the bike (40k) and the run (10k) but not the swim.  I have asked my extraordinarily talented and athletic husband to be my teammate and complete that component of the race.

When I told Jason that 1) I wanted to do this triathlon and that 2) I wanted him to do it with me, I could tell he felt very loved.  His dream of finding a recreational companion in his wife was coming true on a whole nother level.

And what did he do with all that love bursting forth from his heart? He went out and did what he said he was going to do that day three years ago.  He bought me a road bike!

Say hello to the “Buzzing Bee”.

Jason wanted to call it the Hornet because he envisions me speeding by, a flash of black and yellow.

I prefer Buzzing Bee because I see myself buzzing along, picking people off at a consistent pace.  Even if it’s only older people and kids.  I wouldn’t want to scare the kids, of course.

What makes this even better is that yesterday Jason sold my mountain bike for the exact same price he bought the new bike for.  I was a bit nostalgic about it because it got me through my half-marathon cross training (both times). But alas, it is time to move on.

This and several other things have reminded me of something I think I forgot: when God wants you to do something, He gives you what you need to do it.

Hence, the free new bike.  And the biking shoes Alyssa gave me two years ago that I set aside for “someday.” And the biking shorts Jason bought me with his REI gift card. And the steadily growing desire to get out there and get in shape.  And the sunny days we’ve had to go bike riding.  I feel really encouraged when I get to witness and be a part of these things.

As for a goal, I don’t have one of those yet, at least as far as a specific time goes.  Right now it’s just to train and finish.  And that may remain my goal until the end.  I just want to have a lot fun with Jason and grow closer to God through the experience.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a photo of our first family bike ride.

BTW, the triathlon is August 7th.  Four months to go.

Differences in “perspective”

Jason: It needs more salt.

Elisabeth:  You always say that.  You’re a salt fiend.

______

Elisabeth: It’s important to do a thorough vaccuming job and that includes doing the edging, PLEASE.

Jason: You have OCD, Beautiful.

______

Jason: The [fill in vegetable] in our garden isn”t growing.  They’re not going to make it (as he fingers whatever said vegetable).

Elisabeth: STOP right there!  Don’t you dare pull them up! You have to be patient.

______

Elisabeth: Jason, please don’t throw Ian around like that.  You’re going to snap his neck or his brain is going to disattach from his skull or something.

Jason: I know what you’re thinking: baby chiropractic appointments.  I’m not paying for them.

_______

Jason: Grab me a towel quick, quick, quick!  Ian just spit up in my general vicinity [or touched me with this dirty, food-filled hands].

Elisabeth: And explain to me again how this falls line with your insistence that Ian be a boy and get dirty?

_____

Jason: I don’t feel good.  I think I’m coming down with something.

Elisabeth: Here, take this homeopathic remedy. 

Jason: How much am I paying for these sugar pills?

______

Elisabeth: Jason, isn’t Lizzie so cute and amazing?

Jason: Umm, yes.

Two years and we’re still loving each other

Today is Jason & I’s two year wedding anniversary.  WE MADE IT THIS FAR.

The first six months of our marriage was sort of like going to the dentist to get a root canal WITHOUT novacaine.  The second six months were a hesitant, hopeful recovery with the thought of going back to the dentist slowly losing its ability to induce a nervous breakdown.

Heres us after that first six months.  We made it and were okay.

Here's us after that first six months. We made it and we're okay. In fact, we're 4 months pregnant with Ian.

In year two, things kept improving, actually in a very natural sort of way.  Thank you, Lord.  It was sort of like going for your yearly cleaning and maybe being scolded to floss more, but generally getting a clean bill of dental health (why am I drawing out this metaphor??). 

We still have a lot to learn.  We still have that same repetitive argument.  There are insecurities, fears, selfishness, pride, unforgiveness.  These things need to be toppled over.  I pray it is day by day.  But there is more grace, more acceptance, more hopefullness that we are becoming the people and the couple God wants us to be.  We also have gotten our eyes off of ourselves and each other and onto our delightful son, friends, and family.

We’re laughing a lot more and just generally having more fun.  One of the biggest ways is with food.  We love cooking it, musing over it, enjoying the restaurant experience (like this place, which was AMAZING).  For someone who has struggled with food & body image issues in the past, this is really redemptive.  And it’s special for Jason because one day he wants to start a restaurant and he’s trying to convince me to go along with his crazy plans (which are slowly starting to sound less and less crazy).

If the Lord wills it, we will have many more years together.  And I hope so, because it seems there is so much more to learn about each other and about Jesus.  

Thanks to everyone who’s helped us and prayed for us on our journey so far.  It has been quite a journey!

I love you, Jason.

The mystery man in the women’s running shorts

 

Why, might you ask, am I making you look at a picture of a bunch of guys on a beach exposing their pasty white thighs and their unfortunate lack of clothing sensibility?

If you look closely, you might recognize someone. Or maybe you won’t. He certainly doesn’t look like he used to (well, except for the thighs, those look about the same).

If you know the Haggards then you certainly know the someone I am referring to in this photo. And no, it’s not the guy with the red afro.

Alright, I’ll tell you. That head-shaven, weird facial hair-wearing, white supremacist looking guy the second to the left? That’s my husband. He’s the one that’s at least ten years older than all the guys in this photo and yet still wearing women’s magenta running shorts. I know, it’s very confusing.

Granted this was on a beach in Italy and many things are fair game in Europe that aren’t here, especially when it comes to clothing (or lack thereof). And, it was also a Young Life function and everybody knows that when you’re a part of that organization it’s a rite of passage to make a fool of yourself.

Excuses aside, you are probably still wondering the point of all of this.  It’s not to make fun of Jason (well, mostly not to make fun 🙂 ). Obviously he didn’t care then what he looked like or how he was perceived and I don’t think he cares now. But I guess that’s the point of what I’m trying to say. My husband doesn’t care about appearances.

That’s why on one of our first dates he showed up in a bucket hat, mock turtleneck (let’s all admit right now those are NEVER making a comeback), a fleece he got out of a lost & found, and black and neon yellow striped sneakers (sneakers unfortunately not pictured). 

I, on the other hand, have a long, strained, arduous relationship with appearances. I have loved to keep them up. I have loved to look good, far more than I should. I have loved to intimidate people by making them think, at least on the outside looking in, that I have it all together. 

Although I knew that God was digging this out of my heart before I met Jason, marrying him pretty much cemented it in stone.  Hence, the magenta shorts.  And the weird dancing thing he does sometimes when he’s worshipping at church.  Or the loud off-key singing.  Or the long, drawn out stories he tells in social settings that have no point and don’t seem to go anywhere.  You’re getting the drift.

At the beginning of our relationship, at least in my mind, these things were not harmless idiosyncracies. They were a threat to my personal appearance.  And so I chastised him and tried to get him to stop being so much of himself.  I know that’s wrong, but that’s the honest truth.   

Well, we’re almost two years into marriage and I am happy to say that’s changing.  This was obvious to me to me a few weeks ago when I went on a bike ride at my mom’s house.  I didn’t have my normal gear so I had to make do with what she had. 

What that looked like was this: me riding an old lady bike–you know the ones with the high handlebars and the really big padded seats (sorry Mom, but it’s true).  My attire included those diaper-ish spandex bike shorts, gaudy sunglasses and a black leather fanny pack.  There I was riding down a country road, big trucks passing me, and the bike making a squeaking noise with every full turn of the pedals. 

(At this point you are probably hoping for a photo of me, all decked out.  I am not lying when I say I just didn’t think to take one.  I promise I would’ve shown you if I had.)

I’ll be honest, I did feel a little sheepish pulling out of her driveway, but pretty soon I stopped caring and I actually enjoyed myself!

Jason has taught me that loving people and enjoying life is far more important than appearances.  He wore those short shorts because in some strange way that was loving a bunch of teenage guys. And heck, he was in Italy and of course you have to bring stories for the folks back home (even if they don’t have a point to them).

All this to say I love Jason for his pasty white thighs and his choice in women’s fashion.  But more than that I love that God is working on my heart through my husband, just the way he is.

P.S. I apologize to you young men who are included in the photo. I don’t know who you are, but by now you are probably much older and wiser and desperately seeking to forget those shorts.